Offbeat Macy's stock surges after sales and profit trounce estimates

17:26  16 may  2018
17:26  16 may  2018 Source:   reuters.com

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Macy's said stellar performance at its businesses helped push quarterly same-store sales and profit well above Wall Street estimates, signaling that the company was keeping up in a fiercely competitive retail landscape.

Macy's shares surged more than 6 percent as the company also raised its full-year profit forecast and issued a comparable sales growth guidance that topped estimates.

Shares of rival department stores J.C. Penney, Kohl's, Nordstrom and Target Corp also rose following the results.

Like its peers, Macy's has faltered in the past few years as it struggled to adjust to a market where shoppers increasingly buy goods online. The company closed more than 100 stores since 2015 and cut thousands of jobs as mall traffic plummeted and customers defected to off-price and fast-fashion sellers.

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"Tax cuts, bonuses and good tax refunds have all been a windfall to consumers who have responded by increasing spending," said Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail. "This rising tide has floated most retail boats, Macy's among them."

Macy's also said on Wednesday it would end a joint venture agreement with Fung Retailing Ltd in China, that it formed in 2015 with a 65 percent stake, but said it would remain active on Alibaba's e-commerce platform TMall as well as social media channels.

First-quarter same-store sales rose 4.2 percent, easily beating Wall Street's 1.4 percent average estimate, as sales rose at its Bloomingdale's, Bluemercury and its own Macy's stores. This was the second straight quarter of same-store sales growth.

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The stock has been pummeled this year, already falling 18% through Wednesday's close. During the April quarter, sales at Macy ' s stores open at least a year Same-store and overall sales fell more than expected, but gross margin widened and adjusted earnings beat Wall Street estimates by a dime.

The quarter also benefited from a change in accounting that shifted its Friends & Family promotional program from the second quarter to the first, the company said.

"We exceeded our expectations and saw strong performance across all three brands ... as well as across all geographic regions," Chief Executive Officer Jeff Gennette said.

The company said it now expects adjusted profit of $3.75 to $3.95 per share for the year, up from a prior forecast of $3.55 to $3.75.

It also forecast full-year comparable sales at its owned plus licensed stores to rise between 1 percent and 2 percent. Analysts on average were expecting 0.3 percent growth, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net income attributable to Macy's shareholders nearly doubled to $139 million, or 45 cents per share, in the first quarter ended May 5. Excluding one-time items, it earned 48 cents per share.

Net sales rose 3.6 percent to $5.54 billion in the quarter.

Analysts on average were expecting earnings of 37 cents per share, and revenue of $5.36 billion.

Why Macy's, Penney, Gap, other retailers may have to close even more stores .
Despite many reporting promising financial results, retailers continue to face daunting challengesShares of JCPenney (JCP) slumped more than 6 percent on Tuesday after the surprise departure of CEO Marvin Ellison raised fresh concerns about the struggling 110-year-old retailer's future. But Macy's (M), which has faced its share of challenges, is on the upswing after reporting better-than-expected results last week and issuing bullish earnings guidance. That's stoking investors' hopes of a possible turnaround at the largest U.S. department store chain.

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